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46 Star Starred
Sixth & I
600 I Street NW Washington, DC 20001
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Quotes & Highlights

“Brooklyn Rider stands out for its consistent refinement, globe-spanning stylistic range, do-it-yourself gumption and integration of standard repertory works into the mix.” -New York Times
“All classically trained to within an inch of their lives… Brooklyn Rider is recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble.”-NPR


Brooklyn Rider has played in venues as varied as Joe’s Pub in New York City, the Todai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Equally devoted to the interpretation of existing quartet literature as to the creation of new works, they have worked with numerous composers such as Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Jenny Scheinman, and Dimitry Yanov-Yanovsky. A frequent part of Brooklyn Rider’s programming also involves works written or arranged by members of the group.

Highlights of Brooklyn Rider’s 2010-11 season include the CD release of the string quartets of Philip Glass, an appearance at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, a European tour with Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and North American tours in the fall and winter. Brooklyn Rider’s newest CD, Dominant Curve, made the __Billboard __classical chart, and is one of NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2010. It has received glowing reviews from Gramophone, Strings, The Strad, and Huffington Post, as well as the online indie magazines Pitchfork, Vice, Nerve, and Lucid Culture.

“Forgive the hyperbole,” wrote Strings, “but I’ve seen the future of chamber music and it is Brooklyn Rider.”

Exploring new creative possibilities through collaborative programs also forms an integral part of their work. Their long-standing relationship with Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the critically acclaimed 2008 recording, Silent City on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label. Other special guests have included Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, and singer/songwriter Christina Courtin, whose widely released debut album on the Nonesuch label features several tracks with the quartet.

A public radio favorite, Brooklyn Rider has been featured recently on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, __All Songs Considered __and All Things Considered; WNYC’s Soundcheck; American Public Media’s Performance Today, and NY1 News TV in New York City.

Their recordings are played across North America on stations ranging in focus from classical to world, jazz, pop, and new music. Brooklyn Rider also often appears under the umbrella of outside initiatives begun by all four members of the group. In 2003 violinist Johnny Gandelsman created In A Circle, a series of performance events in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn exploring connections between music and the visual arts.

In A Circle Records was created in 2008 with the release of Brooklyn Rider’s eclectic debut recording entitled Passport. Brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen are also co-founders of The Knights, a New York based chamber orchestra that opened the 2009 Dresden Musikfestspiele and released two albums with Sony Classical. The quartet also founded the Stillwater Music Festival (MN) in 2006.

As educators, the quartet has been in residency at Williams College, Dartmouth College, Texas A&M University, and Denison University. Brooklyn Rider’s members have been longstanding participants in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, performing throughout the world and recording three albums for Sony.

They have also taken part in museum residencies initiated by the Silk Road Project at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum Reitberg in Zurich, the American Museum of Natural History and the Nara National Museum in Japan, and participated extensively in ongoing Silk Road Ensemble residencies at Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

The quartet’s name is inspired in part by the cross disciplinary vision of Der Blau Reiter (The Blue Rider), a pre-World War I Munich-based artistic collective comprised of Vassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Arnold Schoenberg, and Alexander Scriabin, to name a few.

An internationally acclaimed __kamancheh __virtuoso, Kayhan Kalhor *has played a leading role in popularizing Persian music in the West. A member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, his compositions appear on all three of the ensemble’s albums and three of his recent recordings have been nominated for GRAMMYs.

Said the __New York Times __last season, “When Mr. Kalhor performed, it sounded like a conversation among several instruments, with the varying timbres at times evoking the wailing pleas of disconsolate lovers. From a simple, muted beginning, the music became more intense and embellished, as ornate melodies and ornaments unfolded with calligraphic detail above ostinato bass patterns.”

Kalhor began his musical studies at the age seven and at 13 was invited to work with the National Orchestra of Radio and Television of Iran, where he performed for five years. At 17, he began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization in Iran at the time. Kalhor has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, especially of Khorason and Kordestan.

He has soloed with a number of leading ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon, and is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan, Ghazal: Persian & Indian Improvisations, and Masters of Persian Music. Kalhor has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has performed and recorded with Iran’s greatest instrumentalists.

Kayhan has also composed music for television and film and was featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola’s __Youth Without Youth __in a score on which he collaborated with Osvaldo Golijov. In 2004, composer John Adams invited Kalhor to perform a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series, and in the same year Kalhor appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

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